Social Innovation in Health Initiative update

TDR news item
30 November 2017

The TDR-initiated Social Innovation in Health Initiative, SIHI, is expanding in both size and scope. New innovations have been selected for further research, and one of the funding partners has a new director.

Malawi announces new innovation to be studied

Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (Health Centre by Phone)
Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (Health Centre by Phone)
Social Innovation for Health Initiative Malawi

The Social Innovation in Health Initiative Malawi has selected “Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (Health Centre by phone)” from the “Call for Innovations in Maternal and Child Health".

Chipatala Cha Pa Foni was the idea of Soyapi Mumba, a software developer, and Clement Mwazambumba, who at the time was the District AIDs Coordinator in Zomba. They shared their idea through a national campaign, run by the ministry of health and Concern Worldwide, entitled ‘Share an idea save a life’. The programme has two components; a toll free hotline for Malawians to receive health advice, and a ‘tips and reminder’ service.

Chipatala Cha Pa Foni is being implemented by the Village Reach and with with the support from the Malawian Ministry of Health, as well as other implementing partners. The programme is being scaled up nationally across Malawi.

The SIHI Malawi hub will be conducting research on this innovative solution to better understand how this solution has gone from an idea to being implemented nationally. This should raise awareness about this solution in Malawi and encourage other Malawians with innovative ideas and creative solutions to follow in the same footsteps.

With the support of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a short video highlighting the programme and the importance of social innovation will be produced.

The Malawi hub is one of four hubs from low- and middle-income countries which joined SIHI earlier this year. The others are Makerere University, Uganda; University of Malawi; University of the Philippines Manilla, and CIDEIM, the TDR-supported Regional Training Centre, Colombia. They promote community-based social innovation in health, convene the various health system actors, help embed research, and strengthen capacity in all steps of social innovation to better understand what works and what does not.

Welcome to the new Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Dr Peter Drobac has been appointed as the new Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. The Centre is part of the TDR-initiated Social Innovation for Health Initiative.

Dr Peter Drobac
Dr Peter Drobac

Dr Drobac, who is well known in the field of social entrepreneurship, global health delivery and implementation science, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), Partners In Health’s university in Rwanda.

Launched in 2003, the Skoll Centre promotes a programme of education, research, and collaboration activities to accelerate the impact of entrepreneurial activity that aims to transform unjust and unsatisfactory systems and practices.

He succeeds Dr Pamela Hartigan, who died in August 2016 and was the Centre’s Director for 8 years.

TDR and all partners from the Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) are pleased to welcome Peter and are looking forward to working with him to advance SIHI’s aims.

“I am delighted to be welcomed into this exceptional network of individuals and organizations in support of promoting something very close to my heart, healthcare innovation,” said Dr Drobac. “I am excited to see this initiative continue to advance healthcare in the places that need it the most.”


For more information, please contact Dr Beatrice Halpaap.